The manager of Liverpool football club, Jurgen Klopp, is not a happy man right now not just because his team dropped a point against Everton but because he lost his best defender, Virgil van Dijk, to injury.
Recall that Liverpool met with Everton for this season’s first Merseyside derby which ended 2-2 at Goodison Park. Unfortunately for the world’s best defender, Virgil van Dijk, he suffered a massive challenge from Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the early minutes of the match.
The challenge was so hard on the Netherlands international that he could not continue with the match. Jurgen Klopp had no choice than to substitute him in the 11th minute with Joseph Dave Gomez.
With the absence of Virgil Van Dijk, Everton attack led by Dominic Calvert-Lewin had more space to press Liverpool’s defense. At the end of the dramatic 90 minutes, the match ended 2-2.
In reaction to the outcome of the Premier League match, Jurgen Klopp said the injury his 29-year-old Dutch defender sustained was not good; adding that the defender has been playing with pain, but could not do so on Saturday which implied that the injury was serious.
“Virgil played I don’t know how many games in a row, he plays with pain, but he couldn’t play on,” said Klopp. “That’s not good.”
The injury Virgil van Dijk sustained on Saturday was so serious that the Netherlands international has been taken to a hospital for medical attention which involved scanning to ascertain the degree of damage the defender had suffered.
VAR worked against Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool as a whole
Jurgen Klopp and the entire Liverpool team are not happy that the Video Assistant Referee was not properly utilized during the Merseyside derby.
First, the VAR was not utilized to examine Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil van Dijk, instead, the VAR ruled that the defender was offside.
“It was a clear penalty I saw and then we saw the flag went up. I thought they would still look at the foul but that didn’t happen,” said Klopp.
“I don’t want to say Jordan Pickford wanted to do it but it is not a challenge a goalie can do in the box.”
Second, the VAR disallowed Jordan Henderson’s stoppage-time goal because Sadio Mane was said to be offside. Liverpool believes that the decision was wrong and want the Premier League to review it. If the goal was allowed, Liverpool would have run away with a 3-2 victory rather than a 2-2 draw.
“I came into the dressing room and people were standing there saying they’d watched the [VAR disallowed goal] situation back and they were saying they didn’t understand why they whistled offside”, Klopp said.
“I’m really in support of VAR and especially with offside, you expect that the right decision would be made. We scored a goal one time at Aston Villa and they said the armpit was offside! It sounds funny, but we got it.
“This time, the picture I saw once was that there wasn’t an armpit call, it was just offside. Since then, I’ve had about 10 interviews and everybody tells me that it was not offside and this doesn’t lift my mood.”
The match ended so badly for Liverpool that they didn’t only lose a point but lost two players to injuries – Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara. It however pushed the reigning Premier League champions to the second spot on the league table, three points behind Everton that is still topping the table with 13 points in 5 matches.